The under 23s

#1
Have seen a lot of clamour for our youngsters to be given more of an opportunity this season. Easy to say, but are any of them good enough yet? Here is where I believe they stand.
First Team Ready:
-Jaidon Anthony- at the age of 23 he’s a little older than the others. I have no doubt in my mind that he could go straight into the team, he is a very special talent. Most younger players have ability but lack the composure and in game awareness, Anthony has it all. The way he holds onto the ball and releases at just the right time is a joy to behold, was our best player again today and deserves his chance in the first team squad.

Possibly ready but need to see more:
-Ibsen Rossi- looks to be the complete package for a CB, tall, strong, quick and composed on the ball. Kilmarnock fans are very complimentary on how he performed last season, most saying that he was their best CB. Despite it clearly not being as high a standard as the Championship, quite frequently SPL centre halves make the move to a championship club and flourish. See little reason that he shouldn’t be in and around it.

Very nearly good enough but needs a loan:
-Gavin Kilkenny- I rate this kid very highly. The way he takes the ball on the half turn and keeps play ticking over us mesmeric at times. The only fault I can pinpoint is that he sometimes tries to play out in very dangerous areas, losing the ball and leaving the team vulnerable. This is something that will only come with experience. It would be risky beyond belief to throw him into a championship team before he gets that experience in my opinion, but he is very close.

Will be good enough but needs a loan:
-JZ- all the ingredients are there to make a great attacking full back/wing back, bar one, physicality. He shows great promise but it is clear that he is very vulnerable physically, a loan in the lower divisions to teach him how to make the most of his slight physical frame will do him the world of good. Again, this is something that will only come with experience. At this moment in time it would be an enormous risk to play him in the championship.
-Travers- clearly there is potential there, but he currently looks very nervous in the first team environment. Needs a loan to build up his confidence and fine tune the rustier elements of his game.

On the fence:
-Kyle Taylor- the hardest one of the crop to evaluate. Clearly there is talent there but is he quite good enough to make it at this level? His loans to date haven’t e
 
#2
Kyle Taylor- his loans to date haven’t exactly been fruitful and would indicate that he’s not quite good enough to make the grade, yet there is something about him that makes me think otherwise. A hard one to call.
 
#3
Kyle Taylor- his loans to date haven’t exactly been fruitful and would indicate that he’s not quite good enough to make the grade, yet there is something about him that makes me think otherwise. A hard one to call.
The Southend experience is a tricky one. I seem to recall he tested positive for Covid and was then out for a while. May have taken some time to get back up to speed. I agree: a hard one to call.
 
#4
Have seen a lot of clamour for our youngsters to be given more of an opportunity this season. Easy to say, but are any of them good enough yet? Here is where I believe they stand.
First Team Ready:
-Jaidon Anthony- at the age of 23 he’s a little older than the others. I have no doubt in my mind that he could go straight into the team, he is a very special talent. Most younger players have ability but lack the composure and in game awareness, Anthony has it all. The way he holds onto the ball and releases at just the right time is a joy to behold, was our best player again today and deserves his chance in the first team squad.

Possibly ready but need to see more:
-Ibsen Rossi- looks to be the complete package for a CB, tall, strong, quick and composed on the ball. Kilmarnock fans are very complimentary on how he performed last season, most saying that he was their best CB. Despite it clearly not being as high a standard as the Championship, quite frequently SPL centre halves make the move to a championship club and flourish. See little reason that he shouldn’t be in and around it.

Very nearly good enough but needs a loan:
-Gavin Kilkenny- I rate this kid very highly. The way he takes the ball on the half turn and keeps play ticking over us mesmeric at times. The only fault I can pinpoint is that he sometimes tries to play out in very dangerous areas, losing the ball and leaving the team vulnerable. This is something that will only come with experience. It would be risky beyond belief to throw him into a championship team before he gets that experience in my opinion, but he is very close.

Will be good enough but needs a loan:
-JZ- all the ingredients are there to make a great attacking full back/wing back, bar one, physicality. He shows great promise but it is clear that he is very vulnerable physically, a loan in the lower divisions to teach him how to make the most of his slight physical frame will do him the world of good. Again, this is something that will only come with experience. At this moment in time it would be an enormous risk to play him in the championship.
-Travers- clearly there is potential there, but he currently looks very nervous in the first team environment. Needs a loan to build up his confidence and fine tune the rustier elements of his game.

On the fence:
-Kyle Taylor- the hardest one of the crop to evaluate. Clearly there is talent there but is he quite good enough to make it at this level? His loans to date haven’t e
Some good opinions there, agree with most of that.
Then I remind myself just how bad established players like Brooks, Kelly and Billing are at times and then I think “Sod it ! Give them a crack ! They probably won’t be much worse and it could be the making of them !”

Hark at me, I think I have the makings of a brave and maverick football manager :p
 
#5
Taylor seems to have been highly rated by Southend fans (at least judging by my foolproof research method of quickly searching on Twitter). Like others have said the Covid didn’t help, and the year before that I believe he had injury problems.

Probably last-chance saloon for him this year, since he’s 22 and possibly out of contract at the end of the season, but with Lerma and Cook missing the first few games (no idea what’s up with Pearson) he might just get it.